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Classic Driver - 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL is perhaps one of the most well recognized and respected automobiles for its clever architecture, wondrous beauty and superb performance; excelling on the race track as well as the road. Its success and historical significance for Mercedes-Benz has resulted to their tremendous appreciation in the market, currently breaching the million dollar mark in value.

The 300SL has certainly made its statement in the history books as well as the money they command, but its sibling is also beginning to arise as a force to reckon with. The 300SL’s smaller counterpart is known as the 190SL, sharing several of the qualities that made the 300SL such an excellent car. On a technical basis, the 190SL offered plenty of the capabilities and racing inspired technologies that were utilized is the 300SL including double wishbone suspension system in the front and swing axles in the rear however, the 190SL boasted a smaller engine more applicable to the masses and casual use.

The 190SL is powered by a 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder SOHC engine that produces roughly 104-hp, and is based off of the 300SL’s inline six. The engine is one example of the many alterations made to the 190SL, for even though the 190SL and 300SL appear quite similar, the 190SL was much more cost effective, for the 300SL was priced at $8,900 by its last year of production while the 190SL was priced at less than half of that at $4,000 depending on the equipped options.

Options were a feature that were an extremely young concept in the automotive industry with Mercedes-Benz introducing what is known as an options list. This made the 190SL that much more attractive to the public for now it could be custom tailored to the individual enthusiast to suit their unique taste and cater to a larger audience. The available options ranged from ostentatious color schemes, soft and hardtops, accessories, seats, and for the true enthusiast, an extremely rare sports-racing option. This nimble two-seat roadster with its iconic, forward styling was the first Mercedes-Benz convertible to truly resonate with the U.S. market and began a full-fledged frenzy that still thrives to this day. All of these elements are what contribute to the 190SL’s significance in the automotive world as well as their value.

In short, the 190SL exercised breakthrough, track-bred technologies, and implemented them for road use. It was also a gorgeous roadster that gave the enthusiast the ability to extensively customize them from the factory utilizing the revolutionary options list. The 190SL’s close relationship to the 300SL, historical significance, and desirability certainly make it a vehicle genuinely special.

Selling at Auctions America


Looking for some style accessories to pair with this classic beauty? Check out our suggestions!

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The Authentic Race - Ladies Red/Camel & The Swanky Touch - Black


1 comment

  • River

    You’re a real deep therkin. Thanks for sharing.

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